Soccer Coaching Blog | Professional Soccer Coaching Advice

How to score from kick off Demba Ba style

As a soccer coach you will often get asked by parents what happened to the fun side of soccer. Well this soccer drill is not only fun but should produce creative, skillful soccer playing to add a bit of flair on match days

I don’t coach route one, but…

I wouldn’t normally advise route one football but sometimes you want to get a team on the back foot from the off. When I first started soccer coaching, it was very basic and unimaginative with queues of boys doing the same old soccer drill, lining up, shooting at goal, lining up, running through cones. I spoke about this to a coach from a top club and he said to me “Try something different.” This invaluable soccer coaching tip has stayed with me ever since and I am always thinking of new, innovative ways to play and drill my teams.

That is exactly what Demba Ba did for Besiktas against Arsenal this week. watch it below and follow my tips so your team can do it:

Kick-off coaching tip

At a recent football event where there were 80 or 90 teams and the pitches were very small 6-a-side ones. I took my player with the best kick to one side and said: “When you win kick off, just shoot at the goal without anyone else touching the ball.”

This he did and duly scored. The referee was a fully-qualified ref and was mystified. He didn’t allow the goal (“that’s not fair coach”) but he went and checked at half time with the guy who had the rule book and came back with an apology.

The law states: The ball must go forward at kick off, but does not have to touch another player to go into the goal. I saw the great Socrates try it once for Brazil. We did it at every match until we got to the quarter finals, but by then all the teams had copied us.

Route one soccer drill

This is one of those soccer drills that you have to get your kids to practise and you only really want one or two of your players to do it. To run the drill simply put the ball on the centre spot and get one of them to kick as hard as they can.

Give your players five or six goes, no more and tell them to try it at their local park. If they can reach the goal it’s worth a shot, it could also lead to a corner and your team is immediately on the attack.

Sometimes you will turn up at very small pitches and your players will be keen to put their skills to the test.

how to shoot at the goal from kick off

Soccer drill set up

  • (We call this Louis’ kick). Three players take kick-off, only one touches it.

  • Players one and two stand either side of the ball a little way back, looking at each other. Player three stands behind the ball some way back.

  • Player one says to two, “Louis’ kick”.

  • Player three runs up and kicks the ball as hard as he can at the goal.

Try this soccer drill and see what happens but remember players learn quickly so watch out for them doing it back to you!

And don’t forget to keep a copy of the kick-off rule in your kitbag for when you score…

– See more at:–1–Soccer-drill-to-get-players-going-for-goal-from-kick-off#sthash.7Kha73BY.dpuf


Why defence is as important as attack

DCI received the following email from my ‘right hand man’ after the match on Saturday. (I’ve changed players’ names for obvious reasons).

“Dave – I keep questioning why we didn’t score more goals today. John has got to pass the ball earlier. Too many times he lost possession at the corner flag. Peter would be better on that side as he only has a right foot. If John went on the left would he have to cut in? Do we use both on that side, one at a time? Could we try Will in left midfield against league leaders Texas Eagles? Do we need a bit of speed at the back? If we don’t get the crosses in against better teams we won’t score at all – or am I being too negative?”

We won the game 3-0 and are second in the league, but the reason for the text was that we had scored our third goal after 20 minutes and then failed to find the net again in the rest of the game. One of the parents commented that he was surprised that we hadn’t “killed the game off in the second-half”.

Fresh from an 8-0 victory in the previous match everyone was hoping for more of the same. But soccer isn’t like that. I will have to convince the parents and my fellow coach that defence is just as important as attack. The truth is I was as pleased we had kept two clean sheets in a row as I was that we’d scored 11 goals in two games.

We are doing a lot of work on defensive positions with supporting play a priority. If a player commits there should always be a covering player blocking the route to goal should they fail to win the ball. In the text, the comment “could we try Will in left midfield?” was because this left-footed player had an outstanding match at left-back.
But what my helper failed to realise was that the reason for the two clean sheets is that the back two are playing really well together and I won’t be changing that to give us more weight in attack.

When you are coaching you must remember you cannot always score lots of goals, and never forget that keeping clean sheets is an excellent testament to your coaching just as much as scoring goals is. So you must use defensive exercises as much as attacking ones, no matter what everyone else is telling you.

Defensive drills and games